OTTAWA - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled the federal budget on Tuesday
He's projecting a $2.9-billion deficit in 2014-15 with a
$3-billion contingency fund, and predicts a surplus of $6.4-billion in 2015-16
with another $3-billion reserve.
Local MP Jim Hillyer points out that they have included things that will help
address the labour shortage and the gap between people who are unemployed and
those employers looking to hire. He says "there's going to be a job matching
service, there's increased investment in training and also paid internships for
young people and the new apprenticeship loan I think is going to be something
that a lot of people in southern Alberta, getting to the trades, will be able to
take advantage of."
The government plans to rein in the cost of compensating public servants, but
does include funds in the budget to help the families of veterans, extend rural
Internet access and make repairs to deteriorating Parks Canada facilities.
Higher excise taxes on tobacco will raise the price of a carton of 200
cigarettes by $4 and essentially end the discount on smokes sold at duty-free
stores, by raising taxes there by $6 a carton. The increase will reap government $685
million in 2014-15.